By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
After many years of discussion and planning, the Washington City Council will get the first look at the proposal for a new fire station, as well as proposals for the new police station and city offices, during the regular Washington City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington Public Library.
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said a committee that has been working on the design for the new station is now ready to move to the next step and gather input. He said the conceptual designs would also include exterior drawings and cost estimates.
Hinson said once the committee has the information finalized, which he said was ?very close,? it would go to the public for comments. He also believes there will be some public forums on the designs. While Hinson said an exact schedule hadn?t been determined yet, he believes the city will be presenting to service groups and that there will be several open houses at the current municipal building to give the community a chance to see the existing city facilities and the reasons why change was recommended.
Previously, the council had decided to move the city offices to the former library building. During a special meeting in December 2015, the newly seated board moved away from the plan, favoring an option to build a new campus, which would include building a new fire station and renovating the existing municipal building to house both city facilities and the police department.
The cost of both plans is about $3.7 million. According to a spatial needs survey, the city offices need about 25,000 square feet, and are currently housed in a 9,400 square foot building. The former library building has about 9,800 square feet.
The council also will discuss the installation of a new city website. Hinson said the new site would probably be an official government website with the .gov Domain Name System indicating restricted use by government entities.
He said the agreement for changing the format of the site would be discussed during the Washington City Council?s Nov. 7 meeting, including the design and address. The current site is located at www.washingtoniowa.net.
Hinson said the current City of Washington site had been put up in 2002. He said the current website is from a very basic template and the new site would allow easier access to some kinds of information.
The new website would resemble the City of Coralville?s site. He also said that the site, once the council approves the change, would take a few months of design before it is ready to go live.
While the city had budgeted $5,000 this year for upgrades to the site, Hinson said the $5,000 cost of the new site would be spread out over three years.
Currently, the city pays about $1,100 per year for its website.
He said the council will vote on an agreement for the site and would discuss features for the site.